A conventional solar cell is something that is not transparent – you cannot see through it.
Of late, there has been significant research into transparent, completely see-through solar cells. This means such cells can be used as windows because it can let in light while generating power!
In 2014, there was an interesting effort from the Michigan State University.
To achieve a truly transparent solar cell, the Michigan State team created this thing called a transparent luminescent solar concentrator (TLSC), which employs organic salts to absorb wavelengths of light that are already invisible to the human eye. Steering clear of the fundamental challenges of creating a transparent photovoltaic cell allowed the researchers to harness the power of infrared and ultraviolet light.
This clear solar cell uses organic salts to absorb invisible light waves.
According to reports, this is the first solar cell that is entirely clear. Other attempts were based on photovoltaic technology that does not allow for a clear cell.
The organic salts in the cells absorb specific nonvisible wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light. The emitted light is guided to the edge of plastic where thin strips of conventional photovoltaic solar cell convert it into electricity.
More recently in 2016, the UK firm Polysolar has come up with a transparent solar cell that operates at a much higher efficiency. In Polysolar’s case, thin-film photovoltaic cells are deposited as a naturally translucent layer onto the glass before another glass sheet is laminated on top. Once embedded, they allow the panels to work at a much higher efficiency at varying angles than regular solar panels and can generate solar power at low levels of sunlight.
You Might Want to Check Out these Questions Too on Types of Solar Panels
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- How do Monocrystalline Solar Panels Compare with Polycrystalline Solar Panels?-Here
- What is an Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) Solar Module? Is it Used Now?-Here
- What are CdTe (Cadmium Telluride ) Thin Film Solar Cells? Are These Commercially Available?-Here
- What are CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium Selenide) Thin Film Solar Cells? Are These Available Commercially Today?-Here
- What is a CIS Solar Module? Are These Commercially Available Today?-Here
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- What are Concentrating Photovoltaics (CPV)? What are their Benefits?-Here
- What Single-junction Solar Cells? How are they Different from Conventional Solar Cells?-Here
- What is a Tandem Solar Cell? How is it Different from the Conventional Solar Cell?-Here
- What are Heterojunction Solar Cells? Are these Commercially Available?-Here
- What is the Smallest Sized Solar Panel Available Currently?-Here
- What is the Largest Capacity/Size Solar Panel Currently?-Here
- What are n-type Solar Cells? And how are they Different from p-type Cells?-Here
- What are Multi-junction Solar Cells? How are They Different from Conventional Solar Cells?-Here